Martin Rees, Jeweller and Pawnbroker

Gemstone Index

You may want to read "What makes a stone into a gem?"  It explains why gemstones are transparent, the qualities of crystals and other useful information
Here I have listed gemstones by their mineral composition.  Birthstones are shown on a separate page, along with comments about how we compiled the list.
Writing and phtographing gems is a big task, so only certain stones are clickable links.  I am adding further pages when I can.  Also I have to wait until I get suitable stones with interesting inclusions for the photographs.  The pages are for your enjoyment, admiring and photographing the gems is the fun part for me!

I have taken all the photographs for these pages.  I used a digital compact camera (different models over the years) held to the eyepiece of a microscope (using a UV filter to protect the eyepiece from scratches).
I recently bought a Dino-Eye Microscope Eye-Piece Camera AM323X, which replaces the microscope eyepiece.  However it has not replaced our older system as it has serious limitations.  The exposure cannot be adjusted (essential when photographing gems), and definition is poor compared to our compact camera.  When pictures were taken with this camera, I have noted it on the relevant page.
At first photos were edited with MS Photo Editor then I used Irfanview.  For the last few years I've used Serif Photoplus.
You will note that the gemstones appear rather dark, this is because the light is carefully arranged to reduce the normal reflections, so you can see detail within the stones.
Resizing and cropping the pictures for these pages does result in loss of detail.  So I am adding links to the original photos if they show more detail.
Their size shows these also have been cropped.  There are 2 reasons, both linked to the difficulty of taking the pictures. Sometimes blank areas outside the stone are removed, also at times the circular barrel of the microscope blanks out part of the picture. So these larger pictures are cropped, and colours are corrected.
Colour correction is necessary because simple cameras get confused by the dominant colour of the stone and adjust the colour balance incorrectly;  so I make sure the colour you see is what I saw through the microscope.  They are not edited in any other way.

While writing about each gem, I have commented on how to clean the stones.  For further information do consult our page on cleaning jewellery.
Also note that I give this advice free, and cannot accept responsibility if a gemstone is damaged by cleaning.  If you have any doubts, always consult a jeweller.  Be especially careful if the stone is damaged.

Back to top

Gems arranged by mineral family

Back to top